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Full text of "An apology for the revival of Christian architecture in England"

AN APOLOGY 



Mri&al of Christian frcljtttcture. 



AN APOLOGY 



FOR 



CJje &ebttoal of Christian architecture 



IN 



ENGLAND. 



A. WELBY PUGIN, 

ARCHITECT, 
LATE PROFESSOR OF ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES AT ST. MARIE'S COLLEGE, OSCOTT. 




?Dtnburgi) 
JOHN GRANT 

31 GEORGE IV. BRIDGE 
1895 




Co tbc Jiigbt J^onouratile 



@arl of Sintfosfotrs, TOatetfortr, an* 



tier? gooD lorD, 



Jt tooulD 6e most unnatural 
anD ungrateful in me, toben 
putting fortb a Creatise relat* 
ing to tbe IRetiitial of Christian 
architecture in <ZBnglanti,tDere 3T 
not to oeDicate tfje same in an 
especial manner to pour lorfc 
sfrip, tufjo I)a0 oeen t&e main 
support in tfje furtherance of 
tfjat gooD toorfe, anD to to&om 
31 am so greatlp oounoen. 



<OD in bis mercp grant, tfmt as pour lorDs&ip's noble 
ancestor, tfje Calbot of famous memorp, ertenoeD fte temporal glorp of 
OEnglanD 6p oeeDs of arms, so map pour lorDstrip continue to increase 
tfje spiritual toelfare of tfjese realms tip retiring tbe ancient glories of 
tbe <nglisb Cburcb, of tobose faitb pour noble bouse bas furnisben so 
manp Witnesses. 

Cbat pour Lorosbip map long oe blesseD toitft bealtb anD 
strengtb to carrp out to a bappp conclusion tbe manp gooD Designs 
pou batie in banD, is tbe constant praper of 

iLorDsbip's DetioteD anD faitbful TBeDesman, 




Pugin. 



LIST OF PLATES. 



PLATE I. FRONTISPIECE. 

II. Buildings of the time of Francis I. . . . to face p. 8 

III. Railways 10 

IV. Cemetery Company's Entrance . . . . . . 12 

V. Revived Sepulchral Brasses 34 

VI. Do 36 

VII. Domestic Buildings 39 

VIII. Examples of Christian Sculpture 43 

IX. Paintings of the Christian and revived Pagan artists compared 44 

X. Church Furniture revived at Birmingham . . . . 51 



REFERENCES TO THE FRONTISPIECE. 

1. St. George's, London. 

2. St. Peter's, Woolwich. 

3. St. Marie's, Stockton. 

4. St. Giles's, Cheadle. 

5. St. Marie's, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

6. North Gate, St. Marie's, Oscott. 

7. St. Austin's, Ker.ilworth. 

8. Jesus Chapel, Pomfret. 

9. Cathedral, Killarney. 

10. St. Chad's, Birmingham. 

11. St. Oswald's, Liverpool. 

12. Holy Cross, Kirkham. 

13. St. Barnabas, Nottingham. 

14. Gorey, Ireland. 

15. St. Marie's, Derby. 

16. St. Alban's, Macclesfield. 

17. St. Marie's, Brewood. 

18. St. Winif ride's, Shepshead. 

19. St. Andrew's, Cambridge. 

20. St. Bernard's Priory, Leicestershire. 

21. St. Marie's, Keighley. 

22. St. Marie's, Warwick Bridge. 

23. St. Wilfrid's, Manchester. 

24. St. Marie's, Soxithport. 

25. St. John's Hospital, Alton. 



AN APOLOGY 



FOB 



THE REVIVAL OF CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE 
IN ENGLAND. 




age in which we live is a most eventful period 
for English art. We are just emerging from a 
state which may be termed the dark ages of archi- 
tecture. After a gradual decay of four centuries, the 
style, for style there was, became so execrably 
bad, that the cup of degradation was filled to the 
brim ; and as taste had fallen to its lowest depth, 
a favourable re-action commenced. 

The breaking up of this wretched state of things has naturally pro- 
duced a complete convulsion in the whole system of arts, and a Babel of 
confusion has succeeded to the one bad idea that generally prevailed. 

Private judgment runs riot; every architect has a theory of his own, 
a beau ideal he has himself created ; a disguise with which to invest 
the building he erects. This is generally the result of his latest travels. 
One breathes nothing but the Alhambra, another the Parthenon, 
a third is full of lotus cups and pyramids from the banks of the Nile, a 
fourth, from Rome, is all dome and basilica ; whilst another works Stuart 
and Revett on a modified plan, and builds lodges, centenary chapels, 
reading-rooms, and fish markets, with small Doric work and white brick 



ON THE KEVIVAL OF 



faciDgs. Styles are now adopted instead of generated, and ornament 
and design adapted to, instead of originated by, the edifices them- 
selves. 

This may, indeed, be appropriately termed the carnival of archi- 
tecture : its professors appear tricked out in the guises of all centuries 
and all nations ; the Turk and the Christian, the Egyptian and the 
Greek, the Swiss and the Hindoo, march side by side, and mingle 
together ; and some of these gentlemen, not satisfied with perpetrating 
one character, appear in two or three costumes in the same evening. 1 

Amid this motley group (oh ! miserable degradation !) the venerable 
form and sacred detail of our national and Catholic architecture may 
be discerned ; but how adopted ? Not on consistent principle, not on 
authority, not as the expression of our faith, our government, or country, 
but as one of the disguises of the day, to be put on and off at 
pleasure, and used occasionally as circumstances or private caprice may 
suggest. 

It is considered suitable for some purposes, MELANCHOLY, and there- 
fore Jit for religious buildings ! ! ! a style that an architect of the day 
should be acquainted with, in order to please those who admire old 
things, 2 a style in which there are many beauties : such is the heart- 
less advocacy which our national architecture frequently receives from 
its professed admirers ; while others are not wanting, even in the most 
influential positions, who venture to sneer at and insult its principles, 
either because they are far beyond their comprehension, or that they 

1 It is not unusual for architects to send two designs for the same building, of utterly 
opposed character and style, for the selection of the committee ; as if it were possible for 
more than one principle to be a correct expression of the intended building. 

2 If a pointed design is sent, it is generally in accordance with the whim of the archi- 
tect's employer ; and then a symmetrical front regular, to the utter inconvenience of the 
internal arrangements, is dressed up with tracery, battlements, and pinnacles ; and these 
sit as uneasy on the modern block, as the chimney stacks and attics on an Albert Terrace 
Parthenon. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 



are so besotted in their mongrel compositions, that they tremble at the 
ascendancy of truth. 3 

The object of this tract is, therefore, to place Christian architecture 

3 It is a perfect disgrace to the Koyal Academy, that its Professor of Architecture should 
be permitted to poison the minds of the students of that establishment by propagating his 
erroneous opinions of Christian architecture. The influence which his position naturally 
gives him over their minds is doubtless considerable, and the effect of his instructions pro- 
portionably pernicious. Not content, however, with the disparagement of ancient excellence, 
which he introduces in his official lectures, he is practically carrying out his contempt of 
pointed design in both Universities, and in a manner that must cause anguish of soul to 
any man of Catholic mind and feeling. 

The ancient buildings of King's College, models of perfection in their way, are actually 
being demolished, to make room for a monstrous erection of mongrel Italian, a heavy, 
vulgar, unsightly mass, which already obscures from some points the lateral elevation of 
King's Chapel, and which it is impossible to pass without a depression of spirits and 
feelings of disgust. A man who paganizes in the Universities deserves no quarter ; and it 
becomes a question whether the greater share of blame attaching to such transactions is due 
to the architect who could so wed himself to the bastard compositions generated in his 
studio, as to intrude his huge deformity not only in the vicinity but on the site of ancient 
excellence ; or to the authorities of the University, who, in the very teeth of the present 
revival, have sanctioned so gross a violation of propriety. But their madness is paralleled 
at Oxford, where the same architect is erecting another unsightly pile of pagan details, 
stuck together to make up a show, for the university galleries immediately facing the 
venerable front of St. John's, and utterly destroying this beautiful entrance to the most 
Catholic-looking city in England. The pagan character of this edifice has, however, 
awakened the disgust of some of the most learned members of the University ; and if it 
pleases the admirers of gin-palace design, it will draw down the indignation of every true 
disciple of Catholic and consistent architecture. 

But, although some men, by dint of name, fortune, and station, may rule for a brief space, 
and mock that excellence to which they can never attain, yet their day is fast drawing to 
a close ; several of the junta who have disfigured the face of the country are already 
gone ; and, like Bunyan's giants in the Pilgrim's Progress, the others are so enfeebled that 
they can only snarl at the revival of excellence. Their works will hardly be endured for 
the time they have to run, and the remembrance of them will be the laughing-stock of 
posterity ; and when the ancient glories of our native land are restored, and this generation 
of pretenders have passed away, men will be amazed that a period could have existed 
when they were permitted to disfigure and destroy, unchecked and unreproved. 



4 ON THE REVIVAL OF 

in its true position, to exhibit the claims it possesses on our veneration 
and obedience, as the only correct expression of the faith, wants, and 
climate of our country ; and if it fails in doing this, it will be rather 
owing to the incapacity of the author in doing justice to this most 
important subject, than to any want of truth in the proposition itself. 

The arguments used, both by the advocates and opponents of pointed 
architecture, have been most fallacious. They have consisted, for the 
most part, in mere private views and opinions relative to comparative 
abstract beauty in the different styles ; and these, as might be expected, 
have proved most inconclusive. 

To advocate Christian architecture merely on the score of its beauty, 
can never prevail with those, who profess to think that all art and 
majesty is concentrated in a Grecian temple. We must turn to the 
principles from which all styles have originated. The history of archi- 
tecture is the history of the world : as we inspect the edifices of an- 
tiquity, its nations, its dynasties, its religions, are all brought before 
us. The belief and manners of all people are embodied in the edifices 
they raised ; it was impossible for any of them to have built consistently 
otherwise than they did : each was the inventor and perfector of their 
peculiar style ; each style was the type of their Eeligion, customs, and 
climate. The abstract beauty of these various styles, when viewed with 
reference to the purposes for which they were raised, is great indeed ; 
they are the perfection of what was intended : a follower of Bramah 
or Isis, a fire-worshipper of Persia, could not have produced any thing 
different from what they have done; and so truly did these edifices 
embody the principles and worship of their builders, that the discovery 
of a certain form of temple or peculiar symbols is at once admitted as 
evidence, of the existence of a certain people and religion in that place. 
Nay, more, by architecture and ornament alone, learned men of the 
present time are" enabled to make the most important discoveries, relative 
to the history of nations, whose very existence is anterior by many 
centuries to the Christian era. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 



Will the architecture of our times, even supposing it solid enough to 
last, hand down to posterity any certain clue or guide to the system 
under which it was erected ? Surely not ; it is not the expression of 
existing opinions and circumstances, but a confused jumble of styles 
and symbols borrowed from all nations and periods. 

Are not the adapters of pagan architecture violating every principle, 
that regulated the men whose works they profess to imitate ? JThese 
uncompromising advocates of classic styles would be utterly repudiated 
by the humblest architect of pagan antiquity, were he now to return 
to earth. Vitruvius would spew if he beheld the works of those who 
glory in calling him master. 

The restorers of Christian architecture are more consistent followers 
of classic principles than all these boasted Greeks ; they understand 
antiquity, and apply the ancient consistent rules to the new dispensa- 
tion. The moderns, in their pretended imitation of the classic system, 
are constantly producing the greatest anomalies ; and we are called 
upon to admire their thrice-cooked hashes of pagan fragments (in which 
the ingredients are amalgamated in utter confusion) as fine national 
monuments of the present age. 

I have not unfrequently been denominated by the perpetrators of 
these absurdities as a fanatic for pointed design, a blind bigot in- 
sensible to, and ignorant of, any beauty but that of the middle ages. 
So far from this, I much question, if I am not better acquainted with 
the principles on which the various styles of pagan antiquity were 
founded, than many of their warmest advocates. I believe them to be 
the perfect expressions of imperfect systems ; the summit of human skill, 
expended on human inventions : but I claim for Christian art a merit 
and perfection, which it was impossible to attain even in the Mosaic 
dispensation, much less in the errors of polytheism. The former was 
but a type of the great blessings we enjoy, the latter, the very an- 
tipodes to truth, and the worship of demons. 

I can readily understand how the pyramid, the obelisk, the temple, 



ON THE REVIVAL OF 



and pagoda have arisen ; whence the arrangement of their plan, and 
the symbols which decorate them have been generated. I am prepared 
to join in admiration at the skill which piled such gigantic masses on 
each other, which fashioned so exquisitely each limb and countenance ; 
but I cannot acknowledge them to be appropriate types for the archi- 
tecture of a Christian country. 

If we worshipped Jupiter, or were votaries of Juggernaut, we should 
raise a temple, or erect a pagoda. If we believed in Mahomet, we should 
mount the crescent, and raise a mosque. If we burnt our dead, and 
offered animals to gods, we should use cinerary urns, and carve sacrificial 
friezes of bulls and goats. If we denied Christ, we should reject his 
Cross. For all these would be natural consequences : but, in the name 
of common sense, whilst we profess the creed of Christians, whilst we 
glory in being Englishmen, let us have an architecture, the arrangement 
and details of which will alike remind .us of our faith and our country, 
an architecture whose beauties we may claim as our own, whose 
symbols have originated in our religion and our customs. Such an 
architecture is to be found in the works of our great ancestors, whose 
noble conceptions and mighty works were originated and perfected 
under a faith and system, for the most part common with our own ; 
for, strange as it may appear, the difference between us and our English 
forefathers, on examination, will prove slight indeed, compared with 
those nations, from whom we have been accustomed for the last century 
to borrow our types, as being the best suited to our present habits. 

Before entering into the necessary details in support of this position, 
it may not be amiss to say a few words on the subject of Christian 
architecture. It has been frequently objected by the advocates of 
paganism, that the pointed style, especially Christian, was not developed 
till several centuries after the crucifixion of our Lord ; but this is mea- 
suring the ways of God by mere human capacity. How long were the 
chosen people of God allowed to exist before the erection of the great 
temple of Jerusalem was permitted ? Did not the skins of the desert 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 



typify the polished stones of that wondrous structure ? And may we 
not say that the foundations of Cologne were commenced in the cata- 
combs of the eternal city ? Like protestants who rail at ecclesiastical 
solemnity, because it is not to be found in the persecuted church 
of the apostles, they urge the non-existence of spires under Roman 
emperors as a proof, that they were not generated by the Christian 
principle. But modern men are constantly referring to the church in 
her suffering state, described by our Lord under the similitude of a grain 
of mustard-seed, while they refuse to recognise her, when, as the greatest 
of all trees, she extended triumphant in beauty and luxuriant foliage over 
the earth. 

How could the divine character of Christ's church have been made 
manifest to future generations, except by passing through an ordeal 
of poverty and bitter persecution of more than three centuries, and 
triumphing over the powers of the world and darkness, without human 
aid ! Those were not, indeed, times for the cultivation of material arts ; 
but the foundations of every Christian temple, spire, and pinnacle, were 
then laid so firmly, that we may build on them till doomsday without 
fear of sinking or decay. Byzantine, Lombard, Saxon, and Norman, 
were all various developements of Christian architecture on a cruciform 
plan with Christian symbols. Pointed architecture was the crowning 
result of these earlier efforts, which may be considered as the centering 
on which the great arch was turned. 

The change which took place in the sixteenth century was not a 
matter of mere taste, but a change of soul ; it was a great contention 
between Christian and pagan ideas, in which the latter triumphed, and 
for the first time inconsistency in architectural design was developed. 
Previous to that period, architecture had always been a correct type of 
the various systems, in which it was employed ; but, from the moment 
the Christians adopted this fatal mistake, of reviving classic design, the 
principles of architecture have been plunged into miserable confusion. 
The gradual developement of inconsistent design is exceedingly curious. 



ON THE REVIVAL OF 



At first it was confined to the substitution of a bastard sort of Italian 
detail to the ancient masses. This is particularly striking in the French 
buildings erected during the reign of Francis the First, where the high- 
pitched roofs, lofty turrets and chimney stacks, cresting buttresses, string 
courses, mullions, and all the natural and consistent features of ancient 
design, are retained with pagan capitals, friezes, and arabesques. 4 The 
church of St. Eustache, at Paris, is a most remarkable example of this 
period. It is perfectly Christian in its plan and arrangement, being 
cruciform, with double aisles and lateral chapels, a grand apsis and 
lady chapel, triforium, clerestory, pinnacles, flying buttresses, immense 
height, and all the features of a noble pointed church ; but with debased 
Roman mouldings, cornices, and details, the very canopies over the 
images being composed of small pediments and domes. Thus, although 
the builders of the so-called renaissance opened the flood-gates of inno- 
vation, they had not lost natural composition ; they only decorated what 
they required in an' inconsistent manner : but the temple and regularity 
system had not come in. Indeed, we shall find that, down to the last 
century, many of the old principles were retained in both domestic and 
ecclesiastical buildings ; 5 and it is only within a comparatively short time 
that error and inconsistency has attained its climax, by flattening and 
concealing roofs, disguising chimney stacks, building sham windows, 
compoing over brick walls, and dressing up Italian masses with pointed 
details, gathered from all styles, dates, and buildings. 

4 See Plate II. 

5 In several of the manor-houses erected during the seventeenth century, the chimney 
stacks are not concealed but ornamented, while the high roofs, gable ends, bay windows, 
turrets, and consistent features of the old domestic architecture, are all retained. 

Wadham College, and the chapel of Brazennose, at Oxford, and the chapel of Peter- 
house, Cambridge, may also be cited as illustrations of this fact. 

Even in some of the older squares in London, such as Red Lion and Queen's, the houses 
had high roofs, with bold overhanging cornices and good dormer windows. Near New 
Street, Fetter Lane, some houses of this character are yet remaining, and are infinitely 
superior to the street erections of the present time. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 



Never, in the annals of architecture, have so many glorious oppor- 
tunities offered, in a short space of time, for the accomplishment of noble 
buildings. Within my own recollection, three royal palaces, half the 
metropolis, churches without number, vast restorations, entire colleges 
in both universities, galleries, civic buildings, bridges, hospitals, houses, 
public monuments, in every possible variety ; and, with the exception of 
the New Houses of Parliament, we have not one edifice of the whole 
number that it is not painful to contemplate as a monument of national 
art. Every chance has been fairly thrown away, as it offered : of money, 
there has been an ample supply ; for the cost of the various works has 
been something enormous ; in all cases sufficient to have produced a good 
thing, and in many instances far more than was required. Now the 
cause of all these failures is the same, and may be summed up in three 
words, inconsistency of design. In no one instance has the purpose or 
destination of the building formed the ground-work of the composi- 
tion : Grecian or Gothic, Ecclesiastical or Civil, it has been a mere 
system of adaptation. One man has adapted a temple, another a castle, 
a third an abbey ; but temples, castles, and abbeys owed their existence 
to other wants and systems, foreign to those for which they have been 
employed, and utter failure is the natural result. Had the various 
buildings been allowed to tell their own tale, to appear in their natural 
garb, were it rich or simple, what variety and interest would our archi- , 
tectural monuments present ! but no, public buildings, it was said, 
could not be Gothic, and therefore must be Grecian, that is, with 
pediments and porticos. The reasons assigned were, 1st, That Gothic 
was so very expensive, which is a positive falsehood ; and, 2ndly, That 
they would not be in character. Now, how an edifice that is to consist 
of doors, windows, w r alls, roofs, and chimneys, when consistently treated, 
and these various features made parts of the design, can be less in 
character, than a building where they are bunglingly concealed and 
disguised, it is impossible to imagine. Yet this view, so utterly false 
and absurd, has taken such hold on the minds of the million, that 



10 



ON THE REVIVAL OF 



pointed architecture is considered, even at the present time, as out of the 
question when public offices, law courts, bridges, and similar structures, 
are in question ; and the erection of the Parliament Houses in the 
national style is by far the greatest advance that has yet been gained 
in the right direction. 6 Although it is impossible to notice in the limits 
of this tract a hundredth part of the monstrous inconsistencies which are 
to be found in every modern erection ; yet, to illustrate the truth of the 
position I have advanced, it will be necessary to notice some of the 
edifices that have been recently executed. 

The Railways, had they been naturally treated, afforded a fine scope 
for grand massive architecture. Little more was required than buttresses, 
weathering, and segmental arches, resistance to lateral and perpendicular 
pressure? I do not hesitate to say, that, by merely following out the 
work that was required to its natural conclusion, building exactly what 
was wanted in the simplest and most substantial manner, mere con- 
struction, as the old men weathered the flanking walls of their defences, 
tens of thousands of pounds could have been saved on every line, 
and grand and durable masses of building been produced ; but from 



8 The long lines of fronts and excessive repetition are certainly not in accordance with 
the ancient spirit of civil architecture, but the detail is most consoling. We have the 
arms and badges of a long succession of our kings ; images of ecclesiastical,' military, and 
royal personages ; appropriate legends in beautiful text run on every scroll : each emblem 
is characteristic of our country. The internal decoration is to be of a purely national 
character, the absurdities of mythology utterly rejected, and, if the architect's design 
for the great tower be carried out, we shall have a monument of English art which has 
not been surpassed even in antiquity. This building is the morning star of the great 
revival of national architecture and art : it is a complete and practical refutation of those 
men who venture to assert that pointed architecture is not suitable for public edifices ; for 
the plan embodies every possible convenience of access, light, and distribution of the various 
halls and chambers, without the aid of false doors, blank windows, mock pediments, adapted 
temple fronts, and show domes, to make up an elevation. 

7 See Plate III. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 11 



inconsistency, whenever anything sublime has been attempted at the 
stations, the result is perfectly ridiculous. 

In every instance the architects have evidently considered it an oppor- 
tunity for showing off' what they could do, instead of carrying out what 
was required. Hence the colossal Grecian portico or gateway, 100 feet 
high, for the cabs to drive through, and set down a few feet further, 
at the 14-inch brick wall and sash-window booking-office. 8 This piece 
of Brobdingnagiau absurdity must have cost the company a sum which 
would have built a first-rate station, replete with convenience, and which 
would have been really grand from its simplicity. The Great Western 
stations, where any architectural display has been attempted, are mere 
caricatures of pointed design, mock castellated work, huge tracery, 
shields without bearings, ugly mouldings, no-meaning projections, and 
all sorts of unaccountable breaks, to make up a design at once costly, 
and offensive, and full of pretension. Then the reasons which have 
instigated the various styles are so very absurd. At Kugby, because 
Rugby School, as rebuilt lately, has bad battlements and turrets, the 
old station had four half-turrets with the best side turned out, and a 
few sham loop-holes ; a little further on, Gothic is dispensed with, and 
the barrack style prevails ; at either end, two modern Greek buildings 
of colossal dimensions, both of which are utterly useless. The London 
gateway could not shelter a porter ; while the Birmingham entrance 
was so unsuitable for its purpose, that the company have been obliged 
to erect various sheds right up to the large columns, and tack on a 
brick house, to make it at all available for its intended purpose. 

These two gigantic piles of unmeaning masonry, raised at an enormous 
cost, are a striking proof of the utter disregard paid by architects to the 
pur poses of the building, they are called upon to design ; and many 
thousands have been fairly thrown away on every line in the erection 
of show fronts, and inconsistent and useless decoration. 

8 See Plate III. 



12 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



The new Cemetery Companies have perpetrated the grossest ab- 
surdities in the buildings they have erected. Of course there are a 
superabundance of inverted torches, cinerary urns, and pagan emblems, 
tastefully disposed by the side of neat gravel walks, among cypress trees 
and weeping willows. 

The central chapel is generally built on such a comprehensive plan 
as to be adapted (in the modern sense) for each sect and denomination 
in turn, as they may require its temporary use ; but the entrance gate- 
way is usually selected for the grand display of the company's enterprise 
and taste, as being well calculated from its position to induce persons to 
patronize the undertaking by the purchase of shares or graves. This 
is generally Egyptian, probably from some associations between the 
word catacombs, which occurs in the prospectus of the company, and 
the discoveries of Belzoni on the banks of the Nile ; and nearly opposite 
the Green Man and Dog public-house, in the centre of a dead wall 
(which serves as a cheap medium of advertisement for blacking and 
shaving-strop manufacturers), a cement caricature of the entrance to 
an Egyptian temple, 1\ inches to the foot, is erected, with convenient 
lodges for the policeman and his wife, and a neat pair of cast iron 
hieroglyphical gates, which would puzzle the most learned to decipher ; 
while, to prevent any mistake, some such words as " New Economical 
' Compressed Grave Cemetery Company " are inscribed in Grecian capitals 
along the frieze, interspersed with hawk-headed divinities, and sur- 
mounted by a huge representation of the winged Osiris bearing a gas 
lamp. 9 

The new building of St. Paul's School is another flagrant instance 
of the inconsistency of modern design. No sooner had the architect 
received the commission of erecting a building for this ancient founda- 
tion, than he turned to his stale collection of pagan authors for the 
authorities and details of an edifice, that was instituted by one of the 

9 See Plate IV. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 13 



most pious churchmen of England for the education of Christian youths ; 
and nothing better suggested itself to his narrow mind, than an un- 
meaning portico raised on stilts, serving only to darken the apartments 
over which it projects, an incipient dome, and a pagan frieze ; and 
this wretched jumble of incongruities has cost twice the amount, and I 
speak advisedly, for which a truly appropriate structure, in accordance 
with the founder's intentions, could have been erected. It is probable 
that the architect never turned to study the life and intentions of 
Dean Colet, the learned and worthy ecclesiastic to whose pious muni- 
fictence the school owes its existence, or he might have been moved to 
give some natural expression to the building which was intended to 
fulfil so pious a design. The intentions of the Dean were most edi- 
fying ; the ancient edifice was dedicated in honour of the Child Jesus ; 
the founder was evidently desirous of placing before the youthful in- 
mates our Redeemer as an obedient Child, knowing all things, Lord of 
all, yet subject to his earthly parents. What could have been better 
calculated to have infused the principles of a holy life into the minds 
of the scholars ? What edifying sculptures of the various incidents 
of our Redeemer's infancy might have ornamented the front of this 
building ! Within the ancient school-room was an image of our Lord 
in the temple, teaching the doctors, before which the poor scholars 
sung a daily hymn and litany : but of all this not a vestige remains ; 
and in lieu of holy Name or deed, we have fifty bulls' heads decorated 
for pagan sacrifice, copied from the temple of the Sibyls, with not so 
much as an image of the pious founder in a niche, to awaken the 
remembrance of departed worth in the hearts and minds of those, who 
daily benefit by Colet's bounty. 

The new buildings of Christ's Hospital, although they certainly arc 
free from the absurdities of paganism, are utterly deficient in the spirit 
of ancient design and arrangement. The opening towards Newgate 
Street might be mistaken for the back way to the Compter, or a place 
where relatives might hold intercourse with the inmates of that prison. 



14 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



Although the tops of the posts which hold the gas lamps are ornamented 
with some canopy work, they look exceedingly modern, and are another 
striking proof of the inutility of employing the decoration without the 
spirit of the old men. The hospital being destined for a place of study 
and education, it should have been bounded towards the street with 
a lofty and massive enclosure wall, entered through a regular tower 
gate-house, like those in the Universities, with an image of the founder 
in a niche, the arms of the city and of the hospital in the spandrils, 
and appropriate legends and inscriptions. 

One fine cloistered quadrangle of the original monastery was standing ; 
another could have been added, with the refectory and necessary build- 
ings, in the same severe style. The new dining-hall is designed on 
the very opposite principles to those which influenced the ancient 
builders. The walls of the old refectories were comparatively low, with 
a high pitch of roof: here, the walls are enormously high, with lofty 
windows, like a chapel, and covered by a flat roof; and, to make the 
case still worse, the roof of the building is not the ceiling of the hall, 
but this is a mere lath-and-plaster imitation, several feet below the actual 
covering. 

This edifice is, moreover, only Gothic on one side; for, if by chance 
the spectator turns the corner, he perceives an elevation not at all dis- 
similar to that of the Fleet Prison towards Farringdon Street. 10 As for 

lu This wretched principle of making pointed masks for buildings pervades nearly all 
the designs of what are termed the leading architects of the day. They work only for 
show and effect, and neglect every portion of the building that does not meet the public 
eye. On going over Lambeth Palace, I was particularly struck, on opening a door from the 
new buildings (which are intended to be pointed, and externally have much good detail), 
to find myself in a kitchen court that might have been in the rear of the Euston Hotel. 
The architect had evidently laid aside his Gothic domino, and appeared in the regular sash- 
window style, while under the lee of his principal elevation ; taking care, however, to 
resume his disguise as soon as he shot out into public observation. Now, although it 
would be most absurd and inconsistent to employ the same de-tail and enrichments on 
all sides of a building placed in an enclosed position, yet the spirit of construction should 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 15 



the new dormitories and the buildings erected on the site of the old 
grammar school, they are strange piles of debased design ; but in this 
respect the architect may have been influenced with reference to the 
period when the school was founded. 

Altogether, the works of Christ's Hospital arc sad failures, owing to 
their not being conceived in the ancient spirit ; but still it must be 
owned, in justice, that when they were commenced, so little were the 
real principles of Christian architecture understood or recognised, 11 that 

remain unchanged, even in the meanest offices. By simple chamfers and weatherings 
the mere essentials of good masonry, the character is perfectly maintained in every portion 
of the old buildings; and, what is most important, naturally maintained ; that is, it would 
be impossible to do them better in any other way. Details of this kind do not require 
designing, but only constructing. For instance, the best gate must be the strongest framed ; 
the sharp edges must be taken off the stiles and rails without weakening the joints and 
shoulders ; they are chamfered and stinted, and the gate must and will look admirably 
well, and, of course, be in character with a pointed building, because a pointed building 
is a natural building. In matters of ordinary use, a man must go out of his way to make a 
bad thing : hence, in some of the rural districts, where workmen had not been poisoned 
by modern ideas ; barns, sheds, &c., were built and framed, till very lately, on the true 
old principles, with braces, knees, and the high pitch. So little, however, have most modjrn 
architects any idea of beautiful effects that are produced by natural combinations and con- 
struction, that in most pointed buildings they design the mere fronts, and give up all 
these minor details in despair, as being so expensive to carry out ; when, in fact, treated 
consistently, they cost less than the ordinary sort of fittings, and are twice as durable. This 
point is so important, that I trust, before long, to produce a treatise on Natural Architecture, 
where all these matters will be considered in detail. 

11 The progress which the revival of pointed architecture has made within the last few 
years is most surprising ; and, if it goes on in the same ratio, there is no doubt that 
many architects of the day will hardly bear to look upon their present works in the 
course of a few years. In my own case I can truly state, that in buildings which I 
erected but a short time since, I can perceive numerous defects and errors, which I should 
not now commit ; and, but a few years ago, I perpetrated abominations. Indeed, till I dis- 
covered those laws of pointed design, which I set forth in my ' True Principles,' I had 
no fixed rules to work upon, and frequently fell into error and extravagance. I designed 
and drew from a sort of intuitive feeling for Christian architecture, in consequence 



16 



ON THE REVIVAL OF 



it would have been difficult to have found any one, who could have 
done much better than the architect employed. It is a positive duty 
to point out all these defects, to prevent others from falling into similar 
errors ; but, at the same time, we cannot but feel a personal respect for 
a man, who endeavoured to revive the old thing, at a time when there 
were few to sympathise or encourage. 

The street elevations of the Bank of England are certainly the most 
costly masses of absurdities that have ever been erected. It appears to 
have been the aim of the architect to perpetrate as many unreal features 
as possible in a wall. Sometimes we have a row of blank windows ; 
sometimes a blocked-up entrance, five feet from the ground ; now the 
wall is set back to dimmish the internal space, and a row of columns 
occupies its place, well railed up to prevent any body getting under the 
recess ; now it rises up, to make a break, and support some stone 
urns and amphorae, to hide the chimney stacks and skylights. But 
the grand feature is the N. w. angle, terminated by a portico, which, 
in addition to having its doorway blocked up from the beginning, has 
its pavement several feet above the street, without steps or means of 
access, actually laid with spikes (///) thickly interspersed with frag- 
ments of decaying orange-peel, stones, sticks, and bats, thrown there 
by the little boys, who used occasionally to climb up and get behind 
the columns before the introduction of the chevaux-de-frise. 

It is impossible to state the vast sums that have been expended on 
the various absurdities of this inconsistent building ; but, at a moderate 

of the numerous examples I had seen. I entered into all the beauties of the style, but 
I did not apply them with the feelings and on the principles of the old architects. I was only 
an adapter, and often guilty of gross inconsistency. But, from the moment I understood 
that the beauty of architectural design depended on its being the expression of what the 
building required, and that for Christians that expression could only be correctly given 
by the medium of pointed architecture, all difficulties vanished ; and I feel quite satisfied 
that when this principle becomes generally understood, good, consistent, and picturesque 
masses of building will arise, with all the variety and beauty of olden times. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 17 



computation, they would have erected the edifice, with all possible con- 
venience and strength, and in a massive and appropriate character, 
three times over ; and there then would have been, to use a commercial 
phrase, a good balance in hand for other purposes. 

Unfortunately for themselves and the public, the Bank Directors 
appear to have more money than architectural judgment : hence, un- 
meaning features and details are crowded together, to make their build- 
ings costly, and the Soanean eccentricities in which they have indulged 
so long seem only to have led them to continue the meretricious system 
under another management, if we may judge by the decorations of the 
New Dividend Office, where a room for the mere transaction of ordinary 
business is overloaded with all sorts of unmeaning plaster ornament, 
stuck up without the slightest propriety, or reference to the purpose of 
the building. 

The Halls of the various Companies, that have been rebuilt at such 
an enormous cost, are really distressing to look upon. The origin and 
history of these companies, connected as they are with that of the City 
itself and many illustrious characters, afforded a fine scope for appro- 
priate decoration, both in windows and on walls. For a hall, a noble 
roof of oak, with quaint device and legend, with Dais and Oriel, would 
seemingly have suggested itself as a matter of course to the architect, 
especially as many of the ancient buildings formerly belonging to these 
companies are actually figured in topographical works. The old kitchen, 
with its chimney and louvre, the buttery, and capacious cellarage in 
vaulted crypt beneath the hall, formed so many beautiful features of 
the ancient design : the rich sideboards of plate, the portraits of departed 
worthies, the banners and devices that hung aloft, the appropriate 
' subtilties ' that garnished the feast, are all described by the old chro- 
niclers ; the very barges still used by the companies might have sug- 
gested good ideas ; but no, a square mass, with a few meagre lines 
and breaks, Ionic ca^s and a flat pediment, is the extent to which 
the imaginations of the great architects of the day could reach ; and at 

D 



18 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



the main entrance into the city, one of the richest companies has erected 
a building vastly resembling the sort of edifices they set up for com- 
mercial banks in the larger provincial towns. 

The present roof of the Guildhall itself is an abomination, and dis- 
graceful to the civic authorities. The lower portions of the vast room 
are beautiful in character ; and if the ancient roof was restored with all 
its appropriate devices, and enriched with colour and gilding, the Guild- 
hall would be worthy of the city, and second only to the Regal hall 
at Westminster. The expense of its restoration would be a small matter 
to such a body, and the effect would surely far more than repay the 
outlay. 

In the New Royal Exchange we have another stale dish of ill- 
adapted classicisms, heavy, dull, and uninteresting, nothing to awaken 
national or civic associations in the minds of the citizens. Surely the 
annals of one of the most ancient capitals of Europe might have sug- 
gested appropriate ideas for its Exchange, where the London worthies 
of successive centuries, with their bearings and devices, might have 
filled each niche. The effigies of these men, many of whom rose from 
poverty and obscurity, by humble industry, to wealth and high distinc- 
tion, would serve as incitements for the imitation of this and successive 
generations. Every edifice, erected by such a body as the citizens of 
London, should embody the dignity and character of the first com- 
mercial city in the world ; it should bear the impress of its antiquity, 
its honour, and privileges. Why should civic splendour be confined 
to an annual water excursion, or a single procession ? The banners, 
the badges, the devices of the various Companies, Crafts, and Guilds, 
that compose the freemen of London, are beautiful and appropriate 
ornaments that should be carved on cap and wall, as well as painted 
on banner and scutcheon. Those who regard these matters as childish 
toys are surely mistaken in their estimate ; they .are honourable dis- 
tinctions of skill and trade, invented by older and wiser men than 
most of those who compose this generation of innovators. They form 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 



19 



the ties of fraternal intercourse and charity ; they afford protection in 
decay and distress ; and no one can have attentively perused the annals 
of London, and not admit that the various companies have been pro- 
ductive of immense good, and were mainly instrumental in preserving 
that honourable character which was formerly synonymous with an 
English merchant. The abuses that may at present exist among these 
companies, the degeneracy that is manifested in their buildings and 
ornaments, form no argument for their abolition. On the contrary, 
it should incite those in authority to revive the original practices and 
dignity of their various societies, and to invest their buildings, by ap- 
propriate decorations and symbols, with that local character and interest 
which was the distinguishing feature of the ancient buildings of London. 

The absence of every thing in the architecture of the New Exchange 
calculated to awaken these local associations is truly lamentable. We 
see nothing but huge pilasters, cornices, columns, and pediments, the 
same things that have been done one hundred times over, larger or 
smaller, in front of hotels, preaching-houses, news-rooms, and museums. 
It was a fine opportunity to have restored the arched ambulatory, but- 
tressed quadrangle, high-crested roofs, and turrets of old English archi- 
tecture, with a lofty clocher or bell tower, of grand proportions, like 
those which yet remain in the Flemish towns, and were formerly to be 
found in all our cities. This might have contained a fine peal to 
herald in the civic solemnities, with chimes for the successive hours 
of the day, large clock faces, visible from all the cardinal points, and 
surmounted with a grove of gilded vanes, overtopped by the famous 
grasshopper of Gresham. Such a building, carried out with arms, 
badges, images, and appropriate detail, would have been at once an 
ornament and illustration of the city in which it was erected, admirably 
adapted for the convenience of business, and certainly not more, if so 
costly as the present unmeaning pile. 

The faults of this, in common with modern structures in general, 
are not so much owing to individuals as to a system. How is it 



20 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



possible for any good results to be achieved with the present principles 
of architectural education ? Can we ever hope to see a Christian archi- 
tect come forth from the Koyal Academy itself, where deadly errors 
are instilled into the mind of the student, with the very rudiments 
of instruction ? Pagan lectures, pagan designs, pagan casts and models, 
pagan medals, and, as a reward for proficiency in these matters, a pagan 
journey ! When the mind of a youth is well infused with contempt 
for every association connected with his religion and country, he is 
sent forth to measure temples, and, in due time, he returns to form 
the nucleus of a fresh set of small Doric men, and to infest the country 
with classical adaptations in Roman cement. 

Of a truth, if architectural offices were stopped up, and fused as they 
serve wasp's nests in the country, we should be freed from a mass 
of poisonous matter that is still depositing in these places. God grant 
me the means, and I would soon place architectural studies on such a 
footing that the glory of these latter days should be even greater than 
that of the former. 

I would also have travelling students, but I would circumscribe their 
limits. Durham the destination of some, Lincolnshire's steepled feus 
for others, Northampton spires and Yorkshire's venerable piles, Suffolk 
and Norfolk's coasts, Oxford, Devonshire, and Warwick, each county 
should be indeed a school, for each is a school, where those who run 
may read, and where volumes of ancient art lie open for all inquirers. 12 

Then would they learn that the same perfection of design is to be 
found in the simplicity of the village steeple, as in the towering central 
spire, in the rubble walls of a sea-coast chancel, as in the hewn ashlar 
and fair mouldings of the large churches, that consistency of archi- 
tectural proportion has stunted the pillars of the simple nave, and 

12 When the architectural student was well grounded in the traditions of his national 
architecture, he should then proceed to study the grand continental cathedrals and churches, 
especially the flower and queen of Christian Churches, the Minster at Cologne. 



$ 

CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 21 



roofed it with massive beams, while it has lifted the shafts of the 
cathedral to a prodigious height, and vaulted the vast space with stone, 
that architectural skill consists in embodying and expressing the 
structure required, and not in disguising it by borrowed features. The 
peasant's hut, the yeoman's cottage, the farmer's house, the baronial 
hall, may be each perfect in its kind : the student should visit village 
and town, hamlet and city ; he should be a minute observer of the 
animal and vegetable creation, of the grand effects of nature. The rocky 
coast, the fertile valley, the extended plain, the wooded hills, the river's 
bank, are all grand points to work upon ; and so well did the ancient 
builders adapt their edifices to localities, that they seemed as if they 
formed a portion of nature itself, grappling and growing from the sites 
in which they are placed. 

The rubble stones and flinty beach furnish stores as rich for the 
natural architect, as the limestone quarry or granite rock. What beau- 
tiful diversity does the face of this dear island present, what a school for 
study and contemplation, where are to be found twenty-four cathedrals, 
the finest monastic buildings, thousands of parochial churches, and inter- 
esting remains of antiquity without number, all within a boundary of a 
few hundred miles ! 

The student of Christian architecture should also imbue his mind 
with the mysteries of his Faith, the history of the Church, the lives 
of those glorious Saints and Martyrs that it has produced in all ages, 
especially those who, by birth or mission, are connected with the remains 
of ancient piety in this land. He should also be well acquainted with 
the annals of his country, its constitutions, laws, privileges, and dig- 
nities, the liturgy and rubrics of the Church, customs and ceremonies, 
topographical antiquities, local peculiarities, and natural resources. 
The face of the country would be then no longer disfigured by in- 
congruous and eccentric erections, compounds of all styles and countries ; 
but we should have structures whose arrangement and detail would be 
in accordance with our Faith, customs, and natural traditions. Climate 



22 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



would again regulate forms of covering, and positions of buildings. 
Local interest would be restored, and English architecture assume a 
distinct and dignified position in the history of art ; for we do not wish 
to produce mere servile imitators of former excellence of any kind, but 
men imbued with the consistent spirit of the ancient architects, who 
would work on their principles, and carry them out as the old men 
would have done, had they been placed in similar circumstances, and 
with similar wants to ourselves. 

The great objection raised against the revival of our ancient archi- 
tecture by the advocates of paganism is the great difference between 
the present habits and necessities, and those which existed at the period 
when pointed architecture was most nourishing. But, in reply to this 
difficulty, to which I have previously alluded, it will not be difficult to 
prove, that while we have nothing in common with Pompeian villas 
and Greek temples, the ancient churches and mansions furnish us with 
perfect types for our present purposes ; and, in order to illustrate this 
most important subject, I have set forth in detail the intimate connexion 
that can be traced between the existing system and English antiquity. 

ecclesiastical architecture. 

With that portion of the English clergy who have the happiness 
of being in communion with the Holy See, there cannot arise any 
doubt whatever. They hold precisely the same faith, and in essentials 
retain the same ritual, as the ancient English Church. They, con- 
sequently, require precisely the same arrangement of church, the same 
symbols and ornaments, as were general in this country previous to 
the schism. The various religious communities are bound by the same 
rule to recite the same office, and have the same duties to perform 
as those who erected and used the many solemn buildings, now, alas ! 
in ruins, which are scattered all over the land. These, at least, cannot 
plead novelties for their paganism ; and in the English Catholic body, 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 23 



any departure from Catholic architecture is utterly inexcusable. It can 
only be accounted for from extreme ignorance, or extreme perverseness, 
both reasons equally disgraceful. The plea of poverty cannot be ad- 
mitted ; for it is well known that churches which are erected on Catholic 
traditions are less costly than pagan rooms : and in Ireland, where the 
externals of religion are positively shocking and painful to behold, 13 
immense sums, subscribed by the zeal of the people, have been squandered 

13 There is no country in Europe where the externals of religion present so distressing 
an aspect as Ireland : in the rural districts, the extreme of poverty, dirt, and neglect ; 
while, in the large towns, a lavish display of the vilest trash about the altars, and burlesques 
of classic or pointed design for churches, most costly and most offensive. A bad copy of 
that wretched compound of pagan and protestant architecture, St. Pancras New Church, in 
London, has been erected at Ardagh, and dignified by the name of a Cathedral. The 
Irish journals are lavish in their praise of this and similar structures, and boast of them 
as honourable examples of national skill, as if there was any thing national in these im- 
portations of English and continental abortions. If the clergy and gentry of Ireland pos- 
sessed one spark of real national feeling, they would revive and restore those solemn piles 
of buildings which formerly covered that island of saints, and which are associated with 
the holiest and most honourable recollections of her history. Many of these were indeed 
rude and simple ; but, massive and solemn, they harmonized most perfectly with the wild 
and rocky localities in which they were erected. The real Irish ecclesiastical architecture 
might be revived at a considerably less cost than is now actually expended on the con- 
struction of monstrosities ; and the ignorance and apathy of the clergy on this most im- 
portant subject is truly deplorable. They seem wedded to bad, paltry, and modern ideas ; 
and this, too, with a people who are, perhaps, of all Catholic nations existing, the most 
worthy of solemn churches, and who would enter fully into the spirit and use of the ancient 
buildings, if they had them, men whose faith no temporal loss or suffering could subdue, 
who rise before daybreak and traverse miles of country to assist at the divine Office, and 
who would hail with enthusiasm any return to the solemn rites of their forefathers. If 
religion in Ireland were only to resume its ancient solemnity in externals, it would be 
indeed a spectacle for angels ; but, at present, such are the absurdities, indecencies, and 
vulgarities displayed in all matters connected with Divine worship, that, notwithstanding 
the edifying piety of the people, and the exemplary conduct of many of the clergy, it is 
impossible to assist at the celebration of religious rites without feeling acutely pained and 
distressed. 



24 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



on architectural absurdities. Hitherto the revival of Catholic art has 
been rather the result of amazing zeal amongst a few noble and devout 
individuals, than the spontaneous act of the body ; and so-called Catholic 
periodicals must cease to talk of splendid Grecian altars, and solemn 
consecrations, where some fiddler and his pupil delighted the audience 
with their strains, before they can occupy their proper and dignified 
position as the restorers of Catholic architecture and solemnity. It is 
most consoling, on the one hand, to know that good ideas are spreading ; 
but humiliating to think that there should be room for the spread of 
ideas and opinions which should fill the heart of every British Catholic, 
and animate them as one man in the glorious and holy cause. And, 
alas ! whilst a few great spirits devote their fortune and energies for 
the revival of departed solemnity, others of equal temporal means are 
content to look on with apathy, if not actually to oppose their labours. 
Some apparently reject tradition and authority, espouse the cause of 
paganism, and follow in the wake of protestant monstrosities, with the 
externals of a temple, and the interior of a conventicle ; while the multi- 
tude neither know nor care any thing about the matter. Men of devout 
minds are scandalized with the foreign trumpery that is introduced on 
the most solemn occasions, and the noisy theatrical effects that are sub- 
stituted for the solemn chants and hymns of the Church. These things 
are most distressing on the continent, although they are modified by 
the vastness of the churches and the remains of antiquity ; but here, 
in England, where they are performed in buildings not dissimilar to 
assembly-rooms, they are intolerable, and must convey to the casual and 
uninstructed spectator the lowest idea of Catholic rites. It is painful to 
see these wretched practices puffed off in Catholic journals, and de- 
scribed much in the same strain as is used in the Theatrical Observer, 
a list of performers, criticisms on the execution of solos and quartets 
during that Holy Sacrifice which fills even the angels with awe and 
reverence. Since Christ himself hung abandoned and bleeding on the 
Cross of Calvary, never has so sad a spectacle been exhibited to the 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 25 



afflicted Christian as is presented in many modern Catholic chapels, 
where the adorable Victim is offered up by the Priests of God's Church, 
disguised in miserable dresses intended for the sacred vestments, sur- 
rounded by a scoffing auditory of protestant sight-seekers who have 
paid a few shillings a head to grin at mysteries which they do not un- 
derstand, and to hear the performances of an infidel troop of mercenary 
musicians, hired to sing symbols of faith they disbelieve, and salutations 
to that Holy Sacrament they mock and deny. 

With respect to the present Anglican Church the case is, of course, by 
no means so clear and positive. Still, if she acted on her present acknow- 
ledged doctrines and discipline, without even taking into consideration 
any probable change in her position, she must turn to Catholic antiquity 
for the types of her architecture and ornament. 

This argument is based on principles and formularies ; for abuses 
cannot be either advanced or received in support of any position. I am 
not taking into account the various grades of opinion and practice that 
are unhappily to be found among those who act in the capacity of 
Anglican clergymen. I deal only with canons and rubrics ; and if these 
were properly and universally carried out, a vast move would be made 
in the right direction. 

1. The ancient form and arrangement of the parochial churches, 
consisting of nave and chancel, should be preserved. The words respect- 
ing the latter are as follow : " The chancels shall remain as in times 
past;" and although it is a notorious fact that they did not so remain, 
yet their desecration was chiefly owing to the mass of illiterate func- 
tionaries, who, on the deprivation of the Catholic ecclesiastics under 
Elizabeth, were intruded not only into parochial cures, but into the. 
chairs of the ancient bishoprics. .In truth, the so-called reformers of 
the reign of Edward the Sixth and Elizabeth, and even the com- 
pilers of the Common Prayer itself, were far more protestant than the 
formularies which were retained, and to which they subscribed rather 
with the hope of being thereby able to effect further mischief and ad- 



26 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



vance puritauism, than to restore departed solemnity. 14 Under the 
Primate Laud, a surprising re-action took place, unfortunate and un- 
satisfactory in result, but an evident proof of the Catholic feeling which 
would have developed itself in the Anglican Church, had it not been 
for the pressure of the puritan faction. But to return, taking the words 
as they stand, The chancels shall remain as in times past; can there 
be any reasonable doubt as to the propriety of adhering strictly to the 
ancient models, of which so many truly beautiful examples remain for 
imitation 1 

2. A tower for bells is required ; and this important feature of a 
church was never omitted in England even during the most debased 
period of ecclesiastical architecture. A tower naturally suggests a spire 
as its termination ; and where is it possible to obtain a consistent type 
for church steeples, excepting from those glorious churches whose entire 
architecture and arrangements were generated by the peculiar wants of 
Christian rites ? This must be evident to all on inspecting the wretched 
attempts at classic steeples, where pediments and porticos, pillars and 
cornices, are piled upon each other like children's card houses, to make 
up an elevation without any grand connecting lines or consistent ar- 
rangement, mere forced, unnatural combinations, most offensive to the 
eye, as evident endeavours to make a vertical effect out of the features 
of horizontal architecture. The rage for these pedimented and telescopic 
steeples is nearly over ; and the ancient spire-crowned towers, adapted to 
any scale, or degree of decoration, must be universally restored. 

3. Galleries are contrary to the intentions of the Anglican Church. 
They are of comparatively modern origin, erected for the most part since 
the Revolution ; and their introduction can only be accounted for by a 
similar degeneracy of spirit to that which has tolerated them in so many 
modern Catholic churches, where they are far more objectionable and 
inconsistent. 

14 See the Letters of the intruded Bishops to Foreign Protestants, in Strype's Annals. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 27 



A most laudable opposition has, however, been awakened both against 
the erection of galleries and the modern abomination of pews, which 
are equally intolerable ; and we may fairly hope before long to see both 
utterly abolished. It is not, therefore, difficult to show that an ancient 
church nave, with its pillars, aisles, low open carved oak benches, and 
southern porch, is the proper model for present imitation. 

4. There is no alteration whatever allowable for ancient usage in 
respect of the Fonts : they are required to stand in their original 
position, with covers, and secured by locks. These covers may be 
made as lofty and ornamental as circumstances will admit. Many of 
them were executed during the reigns of James, and Charles the First ; 
and although, of course, debased in details, are designed in the mass on 
the ancient principles, with a multitude of pinnacles and lesser canopies : 
of these there are two fine specimens at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and another, 
probably by the same artist, in Durham cathedral. 

5. Pulpits, if properly placed on one side of the church, are not only 
unobjectionable, but necessary. Numerous examples, both of wood and 
stone, are to be found in the ancient English churches ; and the am- 
bones of the basilicas are of primitive antiquity. Pulpits are only 
offensive when intruded into the centre of the church, obscuring the 
Altar, and turning the back of the preacher to the seat of the sacred 
Mysteries : they should not be too elaborate in design, nor over large 
in dimensions. With respect to reading pew, and clerk's desk, they 
are of modern introduction ; a brass or wooden lectern and a litany 
stool are amply sufficient. These are quite in accordance with ancient 
practice : the Epistle, Gospel, and Lessons were originally intended to 
be heard by the people, for which reason they were read from the top 
of the rood lofts in cathedral churches, where the choir was divided 
off by a close screen. The deacon, sub-deacon, or lector, out of respect 
for the Altar, read turned sideways to the people, while all prayers were 
addressed towards the East. 

6. In many cases the chancel screens yet remain perfect, with much 



28 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



of their ancient painting, gilding, and imagery of Saints and Apostles. 
They were never removed in any case by authority, but only from private 
ignorance, or love of innovation ; and, so far from being opposed to 
Anglican custom, they are mentioned as necessary in old episcopal visit- 
ations. A screen of Italian detail, but of the old form, was erected 
during the last century in the church of St. Peter, Cornhill, London. 

In old St. Giles's Church, Bloomsbury, erected in the seventeenth 
century, the chancel was separated by a large screen in the figure of 
a beautiful gate, on which were carved three statues, on one side, St. 
Paul with his sword, on the other, St. Barnabas with his book, and 
over them, St. Peter and keys, with winged cherubim. This screen, 
erected at the cost of Lady Dudley, was pulled down in 1640, and sold 
by the puritan faction. 15 The choir screen of Wadham College Chapel, 
Oxford, consecrated in 1613, is a very interesting existing specimen of the 
continuance of the old traditional separation in the seventeenth century. 

7. It is very certain that the consecrated stone Altars were sacri- 
legiously demolished and horribly profaned by the protestant party, 
both in Edward the Sixth's reign, and afterwards in the second year 
of Elizabeth's, and that their chief aim thereby was to abolish the idea 
of a sacrificial oblation among the people. But it is equally certain 
that their revival was attempted under a better state of things in the 
reign of Charles the First ; and surely those who grant the authorities 
of Edward's time the right of demolishing, cannot deny the same right 
of restoration to their successors at a subsequent period. There can 
be but little doubt that stone Altars, placed at the eastern end of the 
chancel, will be generally revived : these may have froutals of the 
canonical colours, suited to the festivals, and richly embroidered with 
appropriate devices ; and these froutals should not by any means be 
covered during the time of communion, as the white linen cloth need 
not be much wider than the top of the altar, and should hang down 

16 Parton's History of St. Giles's. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 29 



at each end. The use of lighted tapers on the altar seems to be 
warranted by the words, that such ornaments shall be in use, as were in 
use in the second year of King Edward the Sixth. 18 The candlesticks, 
covers of the holy gospels, chalices, &c., should be made of precisely 
the same form and decoration as those anciently used. 

8. The two chairs, placed on each side of the communion table, are 
of very modern introduction, and most unseemly, as having their backs 
to the East. There can be no reason whatever for the clergy, when 
sitting, not occupying the sedilia, especially in cathedral churches, where 
the canon for the celebration of the communion requires the officiating 
priest to be attended by a gospeller and epistler (Canon xxiv.). 

9. No doubt whatever can exist at the present time respecting the 
propriety of decorating churches with sacred symbols and imagery : the 
lively representation of the life of our blessed Redeemer, and the works 
and martyrdoms of the saints, cannot fail to be productive of much 
edification and good. 

The destruction of the ancient stained glass, resplendent with sacred 
imagery, was mostly perpetrated by avowed puritans ; and even at the 
worst periods there were found some good souls, who had both heart 
and means to preserve many of these glorious works from destruction. 
There are few cathedrals in Europe to compare in this respect to that 
of York ; and many of our parochial churches are yet rich in glass. 
Indeed, when we reflect that during the last century the Catholic 
chapter of Amiens cathedral removed much of the magnificent glass 
of the nave, and replaced it by white panes, to improve the effect, and 
that modern Catholic ecclesiastics in France and Belgium have not only 
taken out the stained glass, but the mullions and tracery also, by way 
of lighting the church, we can feel less surprise at the sad losses we have 
sustained in England. 

16 Some excellent remarks on these and other matters connected with the celebration of 
the Anglican Liturgy are contained in two sermons preached in St. James's Church, Enfield. 
London, 1842. 



30 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



In an admirable article which appeared in the British Critic, 
the writer most justly observes, that circumstances have so changed 
during the last three centuries, that some of the most violent innovators, 
had they lived in our age of lax indifference, would have acted and 
written in a very different strain. This remark will apply equally re- 
specting the use of images. There is no fear at the present time of 
sacred representations being regarded with superstitious reverence : there 
is far greater danger that, holy symbols and figures being replaced 
by pagan fables or bare walls, men will lose all remembrance of the 
glorious mysteries they represented. It must be admitted that, in op- 
position to true Catholic doctrine, some images were regarded by the 
ignorant with a superstitious veneration, and certain representations were 
tolerated in the churches, which were highly objectionable. There can 
be but little doubt that all these matters would have been reformed, 
without violence or occasion of scandal to weaker brethren, by the 
decrees of the Council of Trent ; and nothing can be more absurd and 
unjust than persons continually raking up, at the present time, old 
extravagant indulgences and local practices, which have been condemned 
centuries ago by ecclesiastical decrees, and some hundreds of which 
are denounced separately in works printed by authority. 

The use and intention of sacred images is to raise the heart of the 
spectator from the figure to the reality, and to instruct the faithful 
in the mysteries of religion by lively representation. The soundness of 
this principle is fully acknowledged by the general practice of the 
present time, in the multitude of biblical illustrations prepared for the 
instruction of youth. 

The Church only requires that honour and veneration for sacred 
symbols which their character naturally demands, 17 and which is essen- 

17 This is beautifully expressed in the following distich, inscribed over a crucifix at 

Antwerp : 

effigt'cm Cljrtsti Sum transit's promts Ijonora, 
Srt mm fffigiem 8fS quern Sratgnat aflora. 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 31 



tially the same as that yet given in the Anglican Church to the holy 
Name of Jesus ; and is paralleled in temporal matters by the external 
respect shown to the throne in the House of Peers, or the quarter- 
deck of a man-of-war. Sacred imagery is a noble field for the exercise 
of the highest powers of art ; and painting and sculpture, when devoted 
to the service of the Church, are calculated to improve and elevate the 
religious feelings of a nation in a surprising degree. 

Now to sum up. If, as I have shown, the Anglican Church requires 
bell towers, spires, naves, chancels, screens, fonts, altars, sacred symbols 
and ornaments, I will ask whether the types of these various features 
are to be found in the ancient pointed churches of England, or in the 
classic temples of antiquity ? Surely no one can hesitate to admit at 
once that, in the former, we have perfect models for imitation ; while, 
in the latter, we cannot find one corresponding arrangement or detail : 
and therefore, even in its present position, by its own existing canons 
and rubrics, the Anglican Church is bound, consistently, to work ex- 
clusively on the principles of Christian architecture, and to renounce 
all pagan adaptations whatsoever. 

With regard to the collegiate establishments which have continued 
in uninterrupted succession from the time of their original foundation, 
and which are yet supported by the pious munificence of their founders, 
and profess to be governed by their ancient statutes, there cannot exist 
a doubt as to the propriety, if not the absolute duty, of their erecting 
such buildings as they may require, in the same style and spirit as those 
originally raised for the accommodation of their predecessors. I say 
spirit as well as style ; for it is not merely sufficient to cut tracery and 
build buttresses and pinnacles, for that has been done at a vast cost 
and with miserable effect at King's and other colleges at Cambridge, 
but to preserve that scholastic gravity of character, that reverend and 
solemn appearance, that is found in the ancient erections. Any de- 
parture from Catholic antiquity in a college is unpardonable : the 
frequent daily services in the chapel, the assembly of the community 



32 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



in the refectory, the enclosure, the academical costume, the celibacy of 
the inmates, are so many relics of ancient discipline which demand a 
continuance of the original architecture ; and in those instances where 
this has been neglected, not one can be pointed out which is not a 
miserable failure and a compound of anomalies. Are Queen's, Wor- 
cester, or the new quadrangle of Christ Church, to be compared for one 
instant with Merton, . New College, or Magdalene ? They rather re- 
semble sick hospitals or barracks of the last century, than the abodes of 
piety and learning. Colonnades, pediments, and heathen gods, are but 
sorry substitutes for solemn cloisters, high turrets, and images of reverend 
founders and saintly patrons. 

During the early part of the seventeenth century, under the influence 
of the Laudian school, some collegiate buildings were erected in a far 
more consistent spirit than the more recent examples. Among these, the 
chapel of Peter-house, at Cambridge, is remarkable : the detail is, of 
course, debased, but it is a very successful attempt for the period ; the 
tracery windows are filled with stained glass ; the east window, of 
five lights, containing the Crucifixion .of our Lord, with many saints 
and angels in the tracery. The roof is waggon-headed, supported on 
corbels ; the western bay forms an antechapel, being divided off by an 
oak screen ; within this are double rows of oak stalls, with a large 
sanctuary. 

This chapel must have been far richer in decoration when originallv 
founded; as, in the report of the parliamentary writers in 1643, they 
say, " We went to Peter-house and pulled down two mighty angels 
" with wings, and divers other angels, with the four evangelists, and 
" Peter with his keys, on the chapel door, together with about one 
" hundred cherubim, and many superstitious letters in gold." This 
account will show the correct intentions which actuated the collegiate 
builders of even that period, and how completely paganism was excluded 
from their designs : it is, indeed, monstrous, now that the ancient detail 
is so much better understood, and the facilities of execution far greater, 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 



33 



to see vile compounds of Italian details rising amid the glories of 
Catholic antiquity in both Oxford and Cambridge. It is some conso- 
lation, however, to know that neither of these edifices are intended for 
collegiate purposes, but as show galleries ; and I question much if they 
will be allowed to remain even for that purpose, when the true prin- 
ciples of Catholic architecture are more generally disseminated among 
the members of the University. 

Hospitals for the poor ought, undoubtedly, to be erected in a style 
at once simple and religious : the aged should be provided with cloisters 
for sheltered exercise, a common hall and kitchen, separate lodging 
chambers, and a chapel for daily devotion ; religious emblems and 
memorials of their benefactors should constitute the only decorations, 
interspersed with pious scriptures and moral legends. Beautiful ex- 
amples of these truly Christian institutions are to be found in the 
ancient hospitals of Stamford, Leicester, Northampton, and Coventry, 
or even in the later foundations of Whitgift at Croydon, and Abbott 
at Guildford. 

I trust I have now set forth enough to prove that the religious 
edifices of England, if consistently designed, should be arranged on 
the same principles as the ancient buildings erected by our Catholic 
forefathers. They must, of course, fall far short of the glorious solemnity 
that can alone be attained in a truly Catholic position ; but, as far as 
they go, they should have all in common with English antiquity, and 
not the slightest accordance with classic arrangement and detail. 



jHemoriats. 

These are so intimately connected with ecclesiastical architecture, that 
it seems necessary to enter upon some details on the subject before pro- 
ceeding to other matters. 

The principal reasons assigned by sculptors for resorting to classic 
costume in their monumental designs has been the unsightly form of 



F 



34 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



modern habits, which would render the effigy of the deceased ludicrous 
in appearance, if represented with them. 

This would be perfectly true if it were necessary, or even correct, 
to adopt the ordinary costume of domestic life in such cases ; but it is 
scarcely possible to find any person sufficiently dignified in station to 
warrant an effigy, who does not hold some official situation, either 
ecclesiastical, civil, or military ; the robes and insignia of which, if 
properly and severely represented, would produce effigies little inferior 
in solemn effect to the ancient ones. 18 To represent persons of the 
present century in the costume of the fourteenth, is little less incon- 
sistent than to envelope them in the Roman toga. As I have before 
said, architecture and art should be a consistent expression of the period, 
and it will not be difficult to show, that, adhering strictly to these prin- 
ciples, we can in the present age revive the most solemn and Christian 
memorials of the dead. 19 



ECCLESIASTICAL PERSONS. 

For the English clergy, there is not the slightest difficulty ; those 
in communion with the Holy See using the same number and character 
of sacred vestments as of old. 

Bishops. Amice, albe, stole, tunic and dalmatic, maniple, with chasuble 

or cope, mitre and staff, buskins and sandals. 

Priests. Amice, albe, plain or apparelled, stole, maniple and chasuble, 
holding a chalice with the most Holy Sacrament. 

18 The ancient monumental effigies invariably represent the deceased persons in their robes 
of state. Kings, bishops, priests, nobles, knights and their ladies, are habited in a manner 
to express most fully their dignities and office, with a profusion of heraldic devices illustrative 
of their birth and descent. 

19 The present female costume is by no means ill-adapted for sepulchral brasses. In the 
annexed Plate three are engraved, which are accurately copied from those in use. The devout 
position of the hands contributes greatly to the solemn effect. (See Plate V.) 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 35 



Deacons. Amice, albe, and dalmatic, stole and maniple, holding the 

book of the Holy Gospels. 

Sub-deacons. Amice, albe, tunic and maniple, with an empty chalice. 
( Ostiarius \ ( keys. 

Minor orders. \ ^ ector , I in surplices with \ J 00 ^ - - A 

Hixorcist hands joined in prayer. 

I Acolyth j ( cruets and candlestick. 

These various dignities may be expressed, without effigy, by a cross 
fleury, with the pastoral staff, chalice, book, or other instruments repre- 
sented by the side. 

The Anglican churchmen should be habited as follows : 

Bishops in cassock, rochet, with a cope ; and there are instances of 
the pastoral staff even in the seventeenth century. 

Priests in cassock, albe (plain), with a cope or chasuble. 

Deacons in an albe. 

Effigies of clergy habited in surplices, with hoods, 20 would be perfectly 
correct, and of these there are many ancient examples. 

These habits would be rather in accordance with Anglican rubrics than 
practice ; but they are enjoined by the present canons, and, though long 
neglected, through the combined influence of indifference and puritan 
principles, they will be doubtless restored with the revival of reverence 
and solemnity. 

CIVIL PERSONAGES. 

The Sovereign should be represented in the Royal robes which are still 
used in the coronation, and which are precisely the same in number and 
description as those used in the days of St. Edward. There is no reason 
for not substituting appropriate and better designed ornaments in lieu 
of those which are generally embroidered, and a more beautiful form 

The present manner of wearing hoods hanging half down the back is most absurd. 
They should come close up to the neck, with the ends falling from each shoulder in front, 
as represented in the old monumental brasses. 



36 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



of crown than that actually in use : 21 a recumbent effigy, habited in these 
robes, with the orb and sceptre, would not be inferior in dignity and 
effect to those truly royal monuments in Westminster Abbey Church, 
and would form an admirable contrast to the miserable memorials of the 
English sovereigns of the last century at Windsor. 

The various ranks of nobility should be represented in the state robes 
peculiar to their several degrees, with their various family badges and 
heraldic distinctions ; those who were Knights of the Garter or other 
orders, with their mantles, collars, and other insignia, the lion and dog, 
emblems of courage and fidelity, couchant at their feet. When on high 
tombs, the niches round the sides may be most appropriately filled by 
smaller effigies of relations, habited as mourners for the deceased, with 
their several shields of arms. These are frequently introduced round the 
ancient monuments, and might be revived with the greatest propriety. 

Judges should, of course, be represented in their robes, Heralds, in 
their tabards, Doctors of Medicine and Music, in the habit of their 
degrees, Aldermen and civic functionaries, in their gowns of office ; 
and for private gentlemen even, a long cloak, disposed in severe folds, 
would produce a solemn effect. 

For the humbler classes, a cross, with the instruments of their trades 
or crafts, with marks and devices, would be sufficient and appropriate ; 
and, in a rural district, a mere wooden or stone cross, with the name of 
the deceased. 

There is not, in fact, the least practical difficulty in reviving at the 
present time consistent and Christian monuments for all classes of 
persons, 22 and at the same cost now bestowed on pagan abominations, 

21 The present crown is far too heavy and clumsy, and is not very dissimilar in form to 
a lamp top. Still it is consoling to see that it is surmounted by a cross ; and the circlet is 
yet alternated with crosses and fleurs-de-lis, emblematic of our Divine Kedeemer and 
Blessed Lady. 

22 The annexed Plate represents brasses and other sepulchral monuments of a Christian 
character, that have been lately revived. (See Plate VI.) 



FVI 




CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 37 



which disfigure both the consecrated enclosure which surrounds the 
church, and the interior of the sacred building itself. Surely the 
Cross must be the most appropriate emblem on the tombs of those 
who profess to believe in God crucified for the redemption of man ; 
and it is almost incredible, that while the dead are interred in con- 
secrated ground, and in the ancient position, prayers for their souls' 
repose acknowledged to be of apostolical antiquity, and the office recited 
at their interment composed from the ancient ritual, the types of all 
modern sepulchral monuments should be essentially pagan ; and urns, 
broken pillars, extinguished lamps, inverted torches, and sarcophagi, 
should have been substituted for recumbent effigies, angels, and emblems 
of mercy and redemption. 

CitJil Architecture. 

It will not be difficult to show that the wants and purposes of Civil 
Buildings now are almost identical with those of our English forefathers. 
In the first place, climate, which necessarily regulates the pitch of 
roofs, light, warmth, and internal arrangement, remains of course pre- 
cisely the same as formerly. Secondly, we are governed by nearly the 
same laws and same system of political economy. The Sovereign, with 
the officers of state connected with the crown, the Houses of Peers 
and Commons, the judges of the various courts of law, and form of 
trial, the titles and rank of the nobility, the tenures by which their 
lands are held, and the privileges they enjoy, the corporate bodies and 
civic functionaries, are all essentially the same as in former days. 

There is no country in Europe which has preserved so much of her 
ancient system as England. We still see the grey tower of the parochial 
church rising by the side of the manorial house ; and, in many instances, 
the chantry chapel yet remains, with a long succession of family monu- 
ments, from the armed crusader to that of the parent of the actual 
possessor. 



38 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



The palace of the Sovereign of such a country should exhibit the 
evidence of dignified antiquity in every detail. Surely the long suc- 
cession of our kings, their noble achievements, the honourable badges 
and charges that they bore, would form subjects which would 
naturally suggest themselves for the decorations of the various halls 
and apartments. How truly grand and national would a building thus 
designed and ornamented appear, where not only the general character, 
but every detail, was expressive of the dignity of the country, and an 
illustration of its history ! And are not the examples for such an edifice 
to be found in the ancient glories of St. Stephen's and Windsor, the 
habitations of our Edwards and Henrys ? The mere dining-hall of the 
former, in its present denuded state, without tapestry, glass, or enrich- 
ment, conveys a far grander impression to the mind of the beholder 
than the most gorgeously decorated chambers of modern times ; and 
what a splendid effect would be produced if one of those ancient palaces, 
so suited for the residence of a Christian monarch, were restored, with 
all its appropriate furniture and decorations ! 

The same remarks apply with equal force to the residences of the 
nobility and gentry. How painful is it to behold, in the centre of a fine 
old English park and vast domain, a square unsightly mass of bastard 
Italian, without one expression of the faith, family, or country of the 
owner! How contrary to the spirit of the ancient mansions, covered 
with ancestral badges and memorials, and harmonizing in beautiful 
irregularity with the face of nature ! 

Any modern invention which conduces to comfort, ^cleanliness, or dura- 
bility, should be adopted by the consistent architect ; to copy a thing 
merely because it is old, is just as absurd as the imitations of the modern 
pagans. Our domestic architecture should have a peculiar expression 
illustrative of our manners and habits : as the castle merged into the 
baronial mansion, so it may be modified to suit actual necessities ; and 
the smaller detached houses which the present state of society has gene- 
rated, should possess a peculiar character : they are only objectionable 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 39 



when made to appear diminutive representations of larger structures. 
And it is not only possible, but easy, to work on the same consistent 
principles as our ancestors in the erection of all our domestic buildings. 

It would be absurd, with our present resources, to build wooden houses 
in towns, which originated with the superabundance of that material 
in former times, and the difficulty of transporting stone or brick ; but 
brick fronts, adapted perfectly to internal convenience, and in accordance 
with the legal provisions for town buildings, may be erected, which are 
capable of producing excellent effect, if consistently treated, and termi- 
nated by the natural form of the gable. 23 

There is no reason in the world why noble cities, combining all 
possible convenience of drainage, water-courses, and conveyance of gas, 24 
may not be erected in the most consistent and yet Christian character. 
Every building that is treated naturally, without disguise or conceal- 
ment, cannot fail to look well. 

If our present domestic buildings were only designed in accordance 
with their actual purposes, they would appear equally picturesque with 
the old ones ! Each edifice would tell its own tale, and, by diversity 
of character, contribute to the grand effect of the whole. 



inticntions anD iflecfmnical Emprotiemenw. 

In matters purely mechanical, the Christian architect should gladly 
avail himself of those improvements and increased facilities that are sug- 
gested from time to time. The steam engine is a most valuable power 
for sawing, raising, and cleansing stone, timber, and other materials. 
The old masons used wheels of great diameter in the erection of their 
buildings : this was, of course, a great increase of power over mere 

23 See Plate VII. 

24 A gas lamp, if designed simply with reference to its use, would be an inoffensive object ; 
but when it is composed of a Eoman altar, surmounted by the fasces, and terminated by an 
incense tripod, it becomes perfectly ridiculous. 



40 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



* 

manual strength ; and had they been acquainted with a greater, they 
would undoubtedly have used it. Why should ten minutes be expended 
in raising a body which could be equally well done in two ? The readier 
and cheaper the mechanical part of building can be rendered, the 
greater will be the effect for the funds ; and if I were engaged in the 
erection of a vast church, I should certainly set up an engine that would 
saw blocks, turn detached shafts, and raise the various materials to the 
required heights. By saving and expedition in these matters, there 
would be more funds and a greater amount of manual labour to expend 
on enrichments and variety of detail. 

The whole history of Pointed Architecture is a series of inventions : 
time was when the most beautiful productions of antiquity were novelties. 
It is only when mechanical invention intrudes on the confines of art, and 
tends to subvert the principles which it should advance, that it becomes 
objectionable. Putty pressing, plaster and iron casting for ornaments, 
wood burning, &c., are not to be rejected because such methods were 
unknown to our ancestors, but on account of their being opposed in their 
very nature to the true principles of art and design, by substituting mo- 
notonous repetitions for beautiful variety, flatness of execution for bold 
relief, encouraging cheap and false magnificence, and reducing the varied 
principles of ornamental design, which should be in strict accordance 
with the various buildings and purposes in which it is used, to a mere 
ready-made manufacture. But while, on the one hand, we should utterly 
reject the use of castings as substitutes for ornamental sculpture, we 
should eagerly avail ourselves of the great improvements in the working 
of metals for constructive purposes. 

Had the old builders possessed our means of obtaining and working 
iron, they would have availed themselves of it to a great extent. The 
want of proper ties has occasioned most serious settlements, and even the 
destruction of some of the finest Christian edifices, the very weight 
and massiveness of the work causing it frequently to settle and give. 
And there is scarcely a tower of great dimensions erected during the 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 41 



middle ages, which it has not been necessary to tie together by iron 
chains and key wedges at a subsequent period. Now, it must be evident 
that if these ties were built in the first instance in the body of the work, 
they would be free from the action of atmosphere, and prevent both 
fissures and the spreading of the work which would render their ultimate 
employment necessary. 

In a cruciform church these precautions are most necessary. The 
lateral thrust of nave, transept, and choir arches, both of aisles and tri- 
forium, rest against the four great central pillars, which are only enabled 
to resist the pressure by the weight of the great tower resting on them. 
But this in many cases was insufficient, and, when they began to give, 
has hastened their destruction. Hence the inverted arches at Wells, and 
the screens at Salisbury and Canterbury, which have been added long 
subsequently to the erection of the original buildings, to confine the 
pillars from giving inwards. At Amiens they are tied by immense 
chains extending the whole length of the nave and choir. 

Had this point been considered in the original structures, the pressure 
might have been effectually counteracted, by inserting iron shafts in the 
centre of the great piers, and chains from them in the thickness of the 
triforium and clerestory, reaching to the four extremities of the building. 
I merely mention this one fact, amongst a number that might be 
adduced, to show that we possess facilities and materials unknown to our 
ancestors, and which would have greatly added to the stability of the 
structures they erected. We do not want to arrest the course of in- 
ventions, but to confine these inventions to their legitimate uses, and to 
prevent their substitution for nobler arts. 

We approve highly of cast iron for constructive purposes, while we 
denounce it as the meagre substitute for masons' skill. We would gladly 
employ Roman cement in brick walling, while we abominate it in the 
mock erections of the day. We consider branding irons exceedingly 
useful for marking owners' and makers' names on carts and imple- 
ments of trade, but we cannot allow them to replace the carver's art. 

G 



42 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



In a word, we should neither cling pertinaciously to ancient methods 
of building, solely on the score of antiquity, nor reject inventions be- 
cause of their novelty, but try both by sound and consistent principles, 
and act accordingly. 

Another great mistake of modern times is the supposition that Christian 
architecture will not afford sufficient scope for the art of sculpture. So 
far from this, while a Greek temple admits only of such decoration in the 
pediment and round the frieze, every portion of a Christian church may 
and should be covered with sculpture of the most varied kind, vegetable, 
animal, and the human figure, in wonderful diversity of position and 
aspect ; sometimes single in niches, sometimes in groups of high relief, 
and in subjects of the most majestic character. At the entrances of 
the church, the lessening arches, which form the vast recesses, are lined 
with angels, patriarchs, prophets, kings, martyrs, bishops, and con- 
fessors ; 25 above the doorways, the genealogy of our Divine Eedeemer, 
his birth, passion, the doom or final judgment, subjects which, it must 
be admitted, afford the fullest scope for the developement of the highest 
powers of human skill. While the whole exterior of the sacred edifice, 
even to the summit of the towers, may be covered with images and 
sculpture, the interior presents an equally extensive field for the exercise 
of art in all possible variety of size and position, from the minute groups 
of the stall seats, to the long line of sacred history that surrounds the 
choir ; from the enrichments of the aisle walls, level with the eye, to 
the sculptured bosses, luxuriant in foliage and rich in imagery, that key 
the vaulted roof at an immense elevation. Flaxman 26 was the first of 

25 Casts from some of these images at Notre Dame, Paris, which have lately been brought 
over to the School of Design, are wonderful examples of Christian art. 

28 Had Flaxman lived a few years later, he would have been a great Christian artist; but 
in his day men never thought it possible to do any thing fine in art that was not derived 
from paganism : hence his great powers were unhappily expended in illustrating fables of 
classic antiquity, instead of embodying edifying truths. His observations on the excellence of 
our Catholic ancestors, and his lamentations on the destruction of their works, are heartfelt 



P VI! 




mi gnum HIKI:H 



TiT" BIIUkM TTQ-HFngrr T7" 




3LEXSED5EES 



^THODU DF SCZEETSEE 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 



43 



the modern school who bore testimony both to the excellence of Christian 
sculpture and the scope that was afforded for the exercise of the art 
in pointed structures. His lectures contain several remarks on the 
admirable works executed in the English cathedrals, even while art 
was at a comparatively low ebb in Italy. There is in fact no dif- 
ference of principle between the fine draperied works of the classic 
sculptors and those of the middle ages ; the difference is in the objects 
represented and the motives of the artists. The principal object of the 
former was to display the human figure, which the latter, from the 
Christian principle of modesty, rather concealed. The pagans wished to 
perpetuate human feelings, the Christians, the divine. 

But to talk of Gothic and Grecian drapery in sculpture as distinct in 
principle, is absurd ; the art of either period is a grand expression of 
nature, and the distinct character is produced by the change of habits 
in the middle ages for those of classic antiquity. We have the cope 
instead of a toga, and the chasuble for a tunic. There is also a great 
difference in the texture of the various stuffs, the square folds of the 
Christian images being produced by the material then in use. Different 
circumstances and systems must generate different expressions of art. 
Phidias himself, had he worked under the influence of the Christian 
faith, would have exhibited equal skill in abstract art, but with a very 
different developement. 

The great error of modern sculptors is their servile imitation of classic 
art, without endeavouring to embody existing principles in their works. 
Unless art is the expression of the system it should illustrate, it loses 

and eloquent ; and when we consider that at the period he wrote, the most glorious works 
of the middle ages were treated with apathy and even derision, the Christian artist of the 
present time must feel grateful for the good he effected by setting forth neglected truth. 
We can only regret that he did not follow out his convictions to their legitimate results, at 
least in the sepulchral monuments that were intrusted to him, for ho does not appear to have 
executed one which had the slightest reference to Catholic traditions. 
27 See Plate VIII. 



ON THE REVIVAL OF 



at once its greatest claim on admiration, and fails to awaken any feelings 
of sympathy in the heart of the spectator. 

Since the fifteenth century, the saints of the Church have been made 
to resemble, as closely as possible, heathen divinities. The Christian 
mysteries have been used as a mere vehicle for the revival of pagan 
forms and the exhibition of the artist's anatomical skill. They were no 
longer productions to edify the faithful, but to advance the fame of 
the author ; and all consistency and propriety was sacrificed for this 
unworthy end. 28 

The albe of purity and chaste girdle were exchanged for light and often 
indecent costume, to exhibit the human figure after the manner of an 
opera dancer ; and modern artists were so imbued with classic design 
and ideas, that when they attempted to work for the Church, their repre- 
sentations of the mysteries of religion were scarcely recognisable from 
the fables of mythology. 29 We do not want to revive a facsimile of 
the works or style of any particular individual, or even period ; but it is 
the devotion, majesty, and repose of Christian art, for which ive are con- 
tending ; it is not a style, but a principle. Surely all the improvements 
that are consequent on the study of anatomy and the proportions of the 
human figure can be engrafted on ancient excellence ; and an image, in 
correct costume, and treated in accordance with Catholic traditions, 
would afford equal scope for the display of the sculptor's art as a half- 
naked figure in a distorted attitude, more resembling a maniac who had 
hastily snatched a blanket for a covering than a canonized saint. 

Did our artists of the present time work with the same faith and 
humility as the old men, and strive to express the doctrines of the Church 
rather than their own peculiar notions, we might soon have a school 



28 See Plate IX. 

29 It is but just to remark, that the modern German school, with the great Overbeck, are 
not only free from this reproach, but deserving of the warmest eulogiums and respect for 
their glorious revival of Christian art and traditions. 








"OF 



RY" L1LU CH Kim IAN 



TTOWT 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 45 



of sculpture equal in sentiment and devotion, and superior in anatomical 
correctness, to that which existed during the ages of faith. 

In conclusion, it must appear evident that the present revival of 
ancient architecture iii this country is based on the soundest and most 
consistent principles. It is warranted by religion, government, climate, 
and the wants of society. It is a perfect expression of all we should hold 
sacred, honourable, and national, and connected with the holiest and 
dearest associations ; nor is there in the whole world a country which 
is better calculated for the revival of ancient excellence and solemnity 
than England. We have immense power, vast wealth, and great though 
often misdirected zeal. Sounder views and opinions are daily gaining 
ground, feelings of reverence .for the past increasing in an extraordinary 
degree ; and, with all her faults, we must remember that England, while 
she was the last to abandon Christian architecture, has been foremost 
in hailing and aiding its revival. Even in the worst and darkest times 
of pagan and protestant ascendancy, some of her sons were found able 
and willing advocates of her ancient glory ; and, notwithstanding the 
repeated mutilations they have undergone, and the sad destruction of 
the monastic churches, our ecclesiastical edifices exhibit far more perfect 
traces of their ancient beauty than is to be found in many continental 
buildings, which, although they have escaped the hammer of the fanatic, 
have been more fatally injured from the chisels and pencils of revived 
pagan artists. 

We should not try the deeds of England during the last three centuries 
by those which preceded them, but by the corresponding history of sur- 
rounding nations ; and we shall find that throughout the Christian world, 
the period which has intervened since the sixteenth century has been one 
of bitter trial and degradation to the Church. Wherever we go, we see 
the great ecclesiastical works arrested at the same period, towers half 
erected, naves unfinished, details uncarved, either a total stoppage of 
works, or bastard pagan productions that had far better have been left 
undone. For a while throughout Europe, Catholic art and traditions lay 



40 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



neglected and despised, while paganism ruled triumphantly in the palace, 
penetrated the cloister, and even raised its detested head under the vaulted 
cathedrals and over the high altars of Christendom. When these lament- 
able facts are considered, together with the fearful scourge in the form 
of war and revolution that has passed over the countries of the continent, 
involving abbey and cathedral, church and convent, in one common 
ruin, and reducing the most dignified clergy of France to the condition 
of stipendiary clerks, sharing a miserable pittance with the Calvinist 
minister and Jewish rabbi, received from the hands of a government 
official, not one rood of land left for priest or altar, of all the vast estates 
which ancient piety had bequeathed, we may find cause for thankfulness 
that matters are not worse than they are in our own country. 

The spirit of Dunstan, of Anselm, and St. Thomas, were extinct ere 
that of Cranmer could have prevailed. We must not forget that this 
country was separated from the Holy See by the consent of the canonically 
instituted clergy of this realm, with a few noble but rare exceptions. 
The people were actually betrayed by their own lawful pastors. There 
were no missionaries from the Holy See to dispense the sacraments to 
those who remained faithful. And this vital change was effected without 
the least external demonstration : protestant opinions were not even 
broached till some years after the schism ; the externals of religion 
remained precisely the same ; and even when open scenes of sacrilege 
and violence began, they were conducted in some measure by authority : 
mass was sung by the old clergy in Canterbury, while the bones of 
its saintly martyr were burning in the garth, and his name and festival 
were erased by the churchmen from every missal and breviary in 
the country ; while men of family and distinction, professing the old 
faith, and receiving the sacraments according to the ancient ritual, 
shared the property of the Church with avidity. And if we may judge 
from the disgraceful trials that have lately arisen, many who bear the 
name of Catholic would rob the Church in her present need and poverty, 
as eagerly and with as little remorse as they did in the clays of her 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 47 

former possessions. I mention these things, because it is a common 
error, into which I was formerly led, to cast the whole odium of the loss 
of the ancient faith in England on the king and nobles, whereas the 
Catholic hierarchy of this land, who basely surrendered the sacred charge 
they should have defended even to death, essentially contributed to the 
sad change. It is true they never contemplated the possibility of such 
a state of things as we see, or, indeed, which shortly succeeded to their 
base compliance ; and many who had weakly consented afterwards rallied, 
but too late. It is a true saying, " C'est le premier pas qui coute ; " and 
so indeed it turned out, to our bitter cost. 

Regarding, therefore, the state of religion for the last three centuries 
as a punishment for the unfaithfulness of the English Church, we cannot 
but feel grateful that, notwithstanding all the repeated efforts and suc- 
cesses of the bitterest puritans, so many traces of the ancient paths 
have yet been preserved, to guide those who are now striving to regain 
the holy place. There is something surely providential in the reten- 
tion of the ancient titles and dignities, the daily chant of the divine 
office in the cathedrals and colleges, the dedication of churches in 
honour of the ancient saints, the consecration of ground for the burial 
of the dead, the preservation of the chapel and order of England's 
patron, St. George, the Catholic character of many portions of the 
liturgy, with its calendar of fasts and festivals, the solemn service and 
anointing of the sovereign at the coronation. These, and many more, 
seem so many pledges that God will not be angry with this land for 
ever ; for there is no other instance of a country having fallen into 
the miserable state of protestantism, having retained so much that is 
calculated to awaken in the breasts of her children a love and reverence 
for the past, and to lead them back to union with the see of blessed 
Peter, from whence the day-star of truth first beamed upon us. 

Dugdale, Spelman, Bingham, Collier, Ashmole, and many illustrious 
English antiquaries and historians, might be cited to prove the great 
reverence for Catholic antiquity that was occasionally manifested in this 



48 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



country, even while the puritan faction was proceeding to violence. The 
spirit of Dugdale's text and plates is most Catholic ; every line of his 
Monasticon might have been written in a cloister of ancient Benedictines, 
while his History of St. Paul's exhibits a depth of piety and devotion 
towards the glory of God's Church, worthy of more ancient days. 

Spelman, in his works, expresses himself on the subject of sacrilegious 
spoliation in a manner that must strike shame and terror into' the hearts 
of those Catholics who would spoil the Church of which they profess 
themselves the children ; and he draws a fearful but true picture of the 
dismal disasters that befel the plunderers of the Church at the period of 
the general dissolution. 

It is almost inconceivable that men, who had been educated in the 
principles of the ancient faith, who had partaken of the sacraments 
of the Church, and knelt at its altars, should have demolished, for the 
sake of stone, timber, and lead, edifices whose beauty and skill would 
have secured them from injury even in this generation, and which 
should have possessed in their eyes the highest claim on their vene- 
ration ; and we can only account for the atrocities which accom- 
panied the ascendancy of protestantism in England, by supposing the 
perpetrators blinded to the enormity of their own actions by the 
punishment of God. To hear of the choirs of vast churches stript and 
roofless, tombs of prelates and nobles ransacked for lead, brass rent 
from graves, the consecrated vessels of the sanctuary profaned and 
melted, the bones of saints and martyrs burnt, the images of our 
Divine Redeemer trodden under foot, dragged about and consumed, 
vestments converted to domestic use, monastic libraries pillaged and 
burnt, and all this without foreign foe or invasion, in once and then 
but lately Catholic England, and perpetrated by men who had been 
born and bred in the Catholic Church, seems like a fearful dream, and 
almost incredible ; and now the sad recital of destruction alone, moves 
us more than even the record of ancient glory : we lament over the 
prostrate pillars and scattered fragments of some once noble pile, we 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 49 



raise the fallen cross, bare the ancient legend on the wall, collect 
the fragments from the shattered panes, and clear the accumulating 
soil from moulded base and tomb. The study of Catholic antiquity 
is so associated with ancient piety and holy recollections, that the soul is 
insensibly drawn from the contemplation of material objects to spiritual 
truths. 

An Englishman needs not controversial writings to lead him to the 
faith of his fathers ; it is written on the wall, on the window, on the 
pavement, by the highway. Let him but look on the tombs of those 
who occupy the most honourable position in the history of his country, 
the devout, the noble, the valiant, and the wise, and he will behold 
them with clasped hands invoking the saints of Holy Church, whilst 
the legend round the slabs begs the prayers of the passers-by for their 
souls' repose. At Canterbury he beholds the pallium, emblem of the 
jurisdiction conferred by St. Gregory on the blessed Austen, first primate 
of this land ; at York, the keys of Peter, with triple crowns, are carved 
on buttress, parapet, and wall. Scarcely one village church or crumbling 
ruin that does not bear some badge of ancient faith and glory. Now 
the crosses on the walls tell of anointings with holy chrism and solemn 
dedication, the sculptured font, of sacraments seven, and regeneration 
in the laver of grace : the legend on the bell inspires veneration for 
these consecrated heralds of the Church ; the chalice and host over 
priestly tomb teaches of altar and sacrifice ; the iron-clasped ambry, 
sculptured in the wall, bears record of holy Eucharist reserved for 
ghostly food, the stoups in porch, and Galilee of hallowed water, and 
purification before prayer ; while window, niche, spandril, and tower set 
forth, by pious effigies, that glorious company of angels, prophets, 
apostles, martyrs, and confessors, who, glorified in heaven, watch over 
and intercede for the faithful upon earth. 

The Cross that emblem of a Christian's hopes still surmounts spire 
and gable ; in flaming red it waves from the masts of our navy, over the 
towers of the sovereign's palace, and is blazoned on London's shield. 



H 



50 ON THE REVIVAL OF 



The order of St. George, our patron saint, founded by King Edward 
of famous memory, is yet the highest honour that can be conferred by 
sovereigns on the subject ; and his chapel is glorious, and his feast kept 
solemnly. Our cities, towns, and localities, the rocky islands which 
surround our shores, are yet designated by the names of those saints of 
old through whose lives, martyrdoms, or benefactions, they have become 
famous. 

The various seasons of the year are distinguished by the masses of 
these holy tides. Scarcely is there one noble house or family whose 
honourable bearings are not identical with those blazoned on ancient 
church or window, or chantry tomb, which are so many witnesses of the 
pious deeds and faith of their noble ancestry. Nay, more, our sovereign 
is solemnly crowned before the shrine of the saintly Edward, exhorted to 
follow in the footsteps of that pious king, and anointed with oil poured 
from the same spoon that was held by Canterbury's prelates eight 
centuries ago. 

In short, Catholicism is so interwoven with every thing sacred, 
honourable, or glorious in England, that three centuries of puritanism, 
indifference, and infidelity, have not been able effectually to separate it. 
It clings to this land, and developes itself from time to time, as the 
better feelings of a naturally honourable man who had been betrayed 
into sin. What ! an Englishman and a protestant ! Oh, worse than 
parricide, to sever those holy ties that bind him to the past, to deprive 
himself of that sweet communion of soul with those holy men, now 
blessed spirits with God, who brought this island from pagan obscurity 
to the brightness of Christian light, who covered its once dreary face 
with the noblest monuments of piety and skill, who gave those lands 
which yet educate our youth, support the learned, and from whom we 
received all we have yet left that is glorious, even to our political govern- 
ment and privileges. 

Can a man of soul look on the cross-crowned spire, and listen to the 
chime of distant bells, or stand beneath the lofty vault of cathedral 



CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE. 51 



choir, or gaze on long and lessening aisles, or kneel by ancient tomb, 
and yet protest against aught but that monstrous and unnatural system 
that has mutilated their beauty and marred their fair design ? Surely 
not. And truly such feelings of reverence for long-despised excellence 
has been awakened among so many of our learned and devout country- 
men, that we may begin to hope, indeed, that our redemption draws nigh. 
We have already lived to hear the name of Canterbury's blessed martyr 
pronounced with accents of veneration ; a hundred pens, most ably 
wielded, are writing in defence of ancient piety and practice ; a thousand 
voices are raised against the abominations of modern innovation. Eng- 
land is, indeed, awakening to a sense of her ancient dignity ; she begins 
to appreciate the just merits of the past, and to work eagerly for the 
future. The last few years must, or ought to, have worked a great 
change in the feelings of English Catholics towards the Anglican church- 
men ; and it is evident that, if it be God's will that departed glories are 
to be restored, it will be effected rather by rebuilding the ruined walls 
of Zion than by demolishing the poor remains that are left The tide of 
popular innovation that so lately threatened us with common destruction 
seems providentially stayed. God forbid we should endeavour to obtain 
a transept in a scramble with dissenters, but rather prove ourselves to 
possess the feelings of the true mother in Solomon's judgment, and freely 
give up all, than see what we hold so dear divided ; and by perfecting 
ourselves, and carrying out true Catholic principles in charity, devotion, 
and zeal, hasten forward that union to which, in the words of an eccle- 
siastical periodical, we may even begin to look forward, and which is 
rather to be obtained through the sacrifice of the altar and midnight 
supplication, than by the clamours of an election platform or the tumult 
of popular commotion. 

* 

laus Deo! 



DESCRIPTION 

OF THE 

KEVIVED CHURCH ORNAMENTS FIGURED IN PLATE X. 

In the centre, a lectern of carved oak, surmounted by a cross fleury, with a double desk 

turning on the shaft. A Psalter and book of the Holy Gospels, bound with clasps, and 

bosses of gilt metal, enamelled and engraved, are shown lying on it. 
Immediately over the lectern is a corona or circlet for lights, and on either side an altar 

lamp. 
On the altar are various examples of altar candlesticks, and a small tower tabernacle for the 

reservation of the blessed Eucharist. 
The frontal represents the four Evangelists and other sacred emblems embroidered in 

needle-work and gold. On the step, two high standing candlesticks for consecration 

tapers. 
Curtains suspended to rods are shown on each side of the altar ; and, immediately behind 

the candlesticks and tabernacle, a small reredos of gilt or embroidered work, over which 

is a ferettum or portable shrine. 

On the right side of the altar 
A processional cross. 
A pastoral staff. 

A faldistorium, with a precious mitre lying on it. 
A monstrance. 
Three chalices. 
A standing altar cross. 

On the left side of the altar 

A processional cross and a standing altar cross. 

A pastoral staff. 

A verge or cantor's staff. 

A ciborium. 

A pax and an Agnus Dei case. 

On the pavement 

Two thuribles, with a ship for incense, two holy water vats, a-processional candlestick, 
a chrismatory, enamelled, and a sacrying bell. 

These ornaments, and many others, have been most faithfully revived from ancient 
authorities by the care of a devout and skilful goldsmith of Birmingham, and are produced 
by the ancient methods of working metals. 






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